20 May, 2011

My Quebec Holiday - Art Deco gems

I have just spent a lovely holiday in the French speaking part of Canada - Montreal and Quebec City (so yes, sorry for the 3 week absence of posts!). I was there mainly for work, but managed to squeeze in some sight-seeing along the way. Montreal is a great city - particularly the neighbourhoods around the CBD, such as 'Mile End' and 'The Plateau' - lots of second-hand bookstores, cafes and . . .. yes . . . vintage stores! My vintage shopping haul will be the subject of next week's post, but for now I just wanted to talk about the architecture of Quebec. Of course, the most famous building in Quebec is the Hotel Frontenac  . . . 

'Old Town' (Vieux Ville), Quebec City, showing Hotel Frontenac at the top of the hill

Hotel Frontenac is absolutely gorgeous. It is very expensive to stay the night (around $500-600 a night - out of my price range me hearties!) but it is possible to do a tour of the hotel (very worthwhile) and go to the bar and restaurants. The atmosphere in the hotel is very old-world class. I absolutely loved it. You can sit in the bar and look out on the harbour sipping an Apple Martini (highly recommended!)

But some other lesser- known buildings in Quebec City are its art deco gems. Now, I don't know about you, but I love art deco buildings. We have some great ones in Melbourne, see my post on the Manchester Unity building here and I always like to track down art deco buildings when I am overseas.

The most famous one in Quebec City is the Price Building, or 'Edifice Price' as it is known in Quebec . . .

Price Building is on right; Hotel Clarendon on left

The Price Building was built in 1930-31 and was a little controversial at the time because two historic houses were demolished in order for it to be built. It is called the Price Building because it was originally built by Price Brothers Ltd - a family company that unfortunately went bankrupt in the Great Depression.

I love the floral motif on this part of the facade. I am sure there is a proper architectural name for it!

Magnificient doors . . .

The inside of the building is beautiful too . . . 

The next door building, Hotel Clarendon, is also a lovely old art deco building.

The hotel was undergoing some restoration work when I was there,
hence use of the temporary cover over the doors.

I particularly loved the detailing at the sides and top of the Hotel Clarendon, it sort of looks like black stitching . . .

The Hotel Clarendon is still a working hotel and the rates are actually very reasonable. Look at their website for more information.

I hope you liked this little insight into art deco in Quebec. Stay tuned for my take on vintage in Montreal next week!